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  • Breast milk storage options..help!?

    So I'm optimistically planning to breastfeed our baby due mid august and I was wondering if anyone could recommend/suggest the best way/products to store breast milk? There are so many options out there my head is spinning. I will have a year off work so pumping and storing milk will only be for those rare occasions my mum babysits or my husband feeds her if I'm sleeping etc.

    Do we get a pump that has bottles for the milk to straight into for storage and use that same day?

    Do we need pouches for freezing for use within the same week to month?

    And if so..which ones?! I know there are some pumps that come highly recommended but I guess the storage and transfer of the milk concerns me more..and whether I should buy an all inclusive system with bottles, pouches etc.

    Aghhr help!

  • #2
    I would pump and store in bottles in the fridge. Every 48 hours I would put all the cold milk in a snap lock bag and freeze it. Depending on what sort of freezer you have you can store up to 6 months.

    I only ever washed my pump once a day. After I pumped I would put the whole pump in the fridge and then when I wanted to use it next empty the milk into the bottle of chilled stored milk and pump again.

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    • #3
      I bought Apre milk storage bags off ebay. They're pre sterilised, hold more than a lot of other bags and they have two snap lock seals. It was $34 for 100 bags, much cheaper than using storage pots or bottles.

      I used to freeze the milk immediately, unless I was using it the same day then it would go in the back of the fridge.
      If you're using it that day, I'd just store it in the bottle.

      I had a Unimom double allegro and loved it. I washed and sterilised after each use.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the tips! I discussed what you both posted with my hubby and he mentioned my sil storing her milk in ice cube trays. I don't know if I like the sound of that. Seems like it would be easy to drop on the floor and would require handling with bare hands.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by redlipsandpearls View Post
          I bought Apre milk storage bags off ebay. They're pre sterilised, hold more than a lot of other bags and they have two snap lock seals. It was $34 for 100 bags, much cheaper than using storage pots or bottles.

          I used to freeze the milk immediately, unless I was using it the same day then it would go in the back of the fridge.
          If you're using it that day, I'd just store it in the bottle.

          I had a Unimom double allegro and loved it. I washed and sterilised after each use.
          I did almost exactly the same as this. The breast milk bags off ebay were fantastic and I also washed and sterilised pumping equipment after each use (I ended up buying two sets of cups etc so I could wash a little less frequently as I was pumping exclusively, so I rinsed one and set it aside until I had used both).

          I hired the hospital grade medela pump from a local chemist, it was very efficient and effective.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by hangingupsidedown View Post
            Thanks for the tips! I discussed what you both posted with my hubby and he mentioned my sil storing her milk in ice cube trays. I don't know if I like the sound of that. Seems like it would be easy to drop on the floor and would require handling with bare hands.
            Lots of people do that, but I found the storage bags hassle free. You just tear the seal off, pour the milk in and reseal.

            If you're going to use bags, definitely order online! I got stuck while waiting for my Apre bags to arrive and had to buy 25 medela bags for $30 at a chemist.

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            • #7
              I bought milk trays online. The bars stored 30 mls each and once frozen, I could fit 4 of them in a standard bag.

              I liked this way as I could measure how much I defrosted.

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              • #8
                I have a medela swing. I pumped into a bottle, left it in the fridge if it was going to be used soon. If not, I poured it into normal zip-lock snack sized bags, and froze. I'd look at how much was in the bottle first, then use that to write on the zip-lock bag how much was in it. I'd always make sure there were some bags with very small amounts (30ml, 60ml etc.) for different situations.
                I'd then lay the bag on a flat spot in the freezer until the milk was frozen, then I had them stacked upright in a container, older milk at the front.

                Worked brilliantly

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                • #9
                  I pump and store depending on what I plan on doing with the milk. If I'm pumping to go out soon with a bottle I leave it room temp (just for a few hours) so I don't have to worry about keeping it cold. I usually pump and store in milk bags like others have said. I get a pack of 20 from the chemist for about $4. They hold much more but I only put about 100ml in each bag to freeze so I don't waste any by having to defrost a huge amount. I also freeze them flat as they store heaps better. I'm currently pumping to build up a supply in the freezer if we need it for anything and as they near date I donate them. ImageUploadedByThe Bub Hub1402963083.490603.jpg
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    I pumped exclusively for some time. I had a unimom hospital grade pump. They are great and less expensive than the medela. Plus the basic medela ones have an open system which means milk can back up and go mouldy. Spectra are also reasonably priced and I've heard they are good. Both the spectra and unimom are closed systems.
                    Though. .. I wouldn't buy a pump until you know how you will do. You may be wasting money and you could hire a great one from a chemist or baby hire company to see how you go first.
                    As for storage. I always froze what I pumped in the amount of mls I 'thought' bub would drink.
                    You don't need specific bottles for the pump you can just transfer. So if I pumped 200mls or something I would freeze in 50mls or 100mls. So there was no waste. I also loved the storage bags as they stand on their own and take up less space.
                    After a feed I would often pull out one bag and sit it on the bench to defrost for the next feed. But if you are mostly breastfeeding you would only defrost as needed. Therefore I would most likely freeze all your milk as you don't want to waste it. Only defrost when you know you'll need some.

                    Honestly don't overthink it for yourself at this stage.
                    Good luck!


                    Sent from my GT-I9505 using The Bub Hub mobile app

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                    • #11
                      The best way - by far - is to buy special breastmilk trays. They allow you to freeze ebm in 30 ML sticks.

                      Once they are frozen you pop them out and transfer to a double zipped freezer bag.

                      Many advantages :
                      > you will never waste ebm. It's impossible to know how much to freeze in one bottle as baby will change how much he drinks. So if you freeze 200 ML in one bottle but you only need 120 ML you will have wasted 80 ML. depending on your supply that can be heart breaking (ebm is gold!!)

                      > very easy to store and stack. You will be able to store heaps of then even in a small freezer

                      > cheap and easy as you buy normal freezer bags as opposed to overprice special ebm bags

                      > the sticks fit into a bottle. so when it's time to thaw just pick the number of stick you need and pop them into a bottle.

                      > if baby is still hungry for more after a bottle it's very easy to top him up without wasting ebm.

                      Seriously, this is the best option

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                      • #12
                        If you're pumping to use the same day the milk can be stored in a bottle in the fridge. I've frozen ebm in small snap lock sandwich bags after pouring the milk from the bottle into the bag.

                        I have tried the closer to nature & avent electric breastpumps - both work great for occasional use. I've had a bad experience with unimom so would not recommend them.

                        Unless you plan to start pumping before the birth or within the first week or two, you can actually wait until after bub is born to work out what you need. One bit of advice when I was 39 weeks was there is plenty of time after birth to organise anything you need.
                        Sent from my GT-I9305 using The Bub Hub mobile app

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for all the wonderful advice ladies I really appreciate it! I will take your advice and see how I go in the first few weeks after bf is established (hopefully). But it's great to know what to consider when I'm ready.

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